I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
—"In Memoriam A.H.H.," Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The October 2013 Olfactif collection tells the story of the rise and fall of a relationship. From the first giddy moments to the painful, solitary reflections on what could have been—and everything in between—it's all here, in three acts.
This month, we also feature guest curation by Saskia Wilson-Brown,founder of the Institute for Art and Olfaction. Based in Los Angeles, the Institute is a unique nonprofit organization dedicated to the education of the public on the art of perfumery and to helping artists in multiple media explore the role of scent in art. (Watch for a Q&A with Saskia tomorrow!)
If you've ever been in love, you'll recognize the story told in this collection. You might even be living it right now, stuck in the torment of emotions that sends you floating to the stratosphere one day and buried under the weight of despair the next. It's a universal experience and a story as old as humankind.
Act I: The lovers meet
U4EAHH! by Yosh. The name says it all. Yosh Han's U4EAHH! starts off with a fruity kick of sweetness from pear, balanced by tart pomegranate. Underlying the whole composition is a bed of cool, sheer green that lends a weightlessness, a sense of floating—the feeling that you're exactly where you ought to be.
Act II: The lovers join
Walk of Shame by Smell Bent. With a name like this, you'd expect Walk of Shame to be full of that "skank" smell that hard-core perfumistas love to talk about. But in fact, Walk of Shame is a lovely meditation on iris and musk. It's chilly at first, with an unusual blast of smokey vinyl at the top, but it slowly dries into a compulsively sniffable warm-skin scent that doesn't give away last night's indiscretions. It's also full of humor, which is one thing we love about the Smell Bent line. (Just check out the list of notes if you need a smile.)
Act III: The lovers part
Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors. In April, we introduced you to Imaginary Authors, an exciting new line out of Portland. Today, we're thrilled to bring back perfumer Josh Meyer to debut his anticipated new release, a deep, woodsy Pacific Northwest scent that captures the melancholy of lost love. A surprising interlude of strawberry hides among the cedar trees like memories of moments that become sweeter only when you realize they are lost forever. "If you are looking for the pieces of a broken heart," our imaginary author Philip Sava says, "you might try rifling through the twigs and needles on the forest floor."
We hope you love this scent story as much as we loved putting it together.